Beethoven / Symphony No. 7 / Reiner – Reviewed in 2011

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Hot Stamper Pressings of Living Stereo Titles Available Now

This somewhat rare and fairly quiet White Dog pressing has lovely vintage Golden Age sound from 1958, comparable to the sound you hear on many early Londons and RCAs from that era.

On both sides the famous Living Stereo soundstage is wide and deep as usual.

On side one the strings are quite nice, textured and rich, but somewhat lacking in harmonic extension and congested in the louder passages. This is commonly the case with these late ’50s recordings.

On side two there is less smear and therefore even better texture to the strings for the second half of the symphony, and the coupling work, the Fidelio Overture, is even better still.

We can’t say whether other copies are any more transparent or extended up top; they are just too hard to find in this kind of audiophile playing condition.

The performances are excellent by the way. (If you ever get a chance to hear Dorati’s performance of the Fifth Symphony on Mercury, take it. He plays it as fast as it can be played, and the energy of the orchestra is thrilling.)


Side One

Symphony #7

Side Two

Symphony #7
Fidelio Overture

This is an Older Classical/Orchestral Review

Most of the older reviews you see are for records that did not go through the shootout process, the revolutionary approach to finding better sounding pressings we started developing in the early 2000s and have since turned into a veritable science.

We found the records you see in these older listings by cleaning and playing a pressing or two of the album, which we then described and priced based on how good the sound and surfaces were. (For out Hot Stamper listings, the Sonic Grades and Vinyl Playgrades are listed separately.)

We were often wrong back in those days, something we have no reason to hide. Audio equipment and record cleaning technologies have come a long way since those darker days, a subject we discuss here.

Currently, 99% (or more!) of the records we sell are cleaned, then auditioned under rigorously controlled conditions, up against a number of other pressings. We award them sonic grades, and then condition check them for surface noise.

As you may imagine, this approach requires a great deal of time, effort and skill, which is why we currently have a highly trained staff of about ten. No individual or business without the aid of such a committed group could possibly dig as deep into the sound of records as we have, and it is unlikely that anyone besides us could ever come along to do the kind of work we do.

The term “Hot Stampers” gets thrown around a lot these days, but to us it means only one thing: a record that has been through the shootout process and found to be of exceptionally high quality.

The result of our labor is the hundreds of titles seen here, every one of which is unique and guaranteed to be the best sounding copy of the album you have ever heard or you get your money back.

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